Turkey says US sanctions unacceptable, have limited economic impact

Daniel Fowler
August 4, 2018

This comes after the US slapped sanctions on Turkish government officials earlier this week for their role in his capture.

"We have said since the beginning that threatening language and sanctions will not get any result", he said.

"The Turks were on notice that the clock had run out and it was time for Pastor Brunson to be returned and I hope they'll see this for what it is: a demonstration that we're very serious", he told reporters aboard his plane as he flew to Singapore from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Cavusoglu, in comments to Turkish broadcasters, said he and Pompeo had also discussed potential joint steps the two countries could take regarding Syria's Idlib and Manbij.

"We consider this one of the many issues that we have with the Turks", Pompeo continued, but didn't elaborate.

The Foreign Ministry strongly protested against the U.S. Treasury Department's decision, calling on the U.S. administration to reverse its "wrong decision".

US President Donald Trump and his Vice President Mike Pence had threatened Turkey with "large sanctions" last week if Brunson was not immediately released.

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Turkey has said the sanctions were unacceptable.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was quoted by media Friday as saying that Ankara was preparing to respond to Washington in equal measures.

Cavusoglu, however, said both the countries have agreed to work together.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said that Brunson was a "victim of unfair and unjust attention by the government of Turkey" as she announced sanctions.

The sanctions freeze any property or assets on United States soil held by the two ministers, and bar USA citizens from doing business with them.

Pastor Brunson was arrested in Izmir, Turkey in October 2016, and was accused without any evidence of helping terrorist groups and of engaging in espionage. Americans would generally be prohibited from doing business with them.

Pompeo said the administration's actions on Wednesday - imposing sanctions on Turkey's justice and interior ministers - were a sign of how seriously the U.S.is treating Brunson's case. Ankara blames Gulen for the coup attempt, while the cleric denies involvement.

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